It's been just about two months since I self-published my book, I Need a Job.
|Available now for only $2.99 on Kindle!|
In that time, I've sold an underwhelming 12 units - not great at all, but also not especially unexpected. I've yet to dedicate a solid amount of time to advertising, though I may be stepping up those efforts later. Technically there's still time left this year.
Nevertheless, I wanted to take some time today to share with the world the single most valuable lesson I learned during the process of writing, editing, and preparing my novel for publication. It's something I wish somebody had told me before I started. You ready?
There. That's the lesson.
I was so caught up in the rush to get a Kindle version released that I pretty much ignored the print copy altogether. I told myself, "Print is dead. People don't buy books anymore. They buy software. They buy soft copies. They use Kindles and Nooks and iPads." I had it in my head that ten million people would spend three bucks on the MOBI version of my book, but not even a single customer would consider a hard copy.
So I agonized over the Kindle format. I asked my designer, Megan Cranford, to focus on the front cover more than the back, and I didn't even bother to ask for help with the spine. I made a big point of reading up on soft copies and tried out different formatting styles on my own Kindle to make sure I was spacing things just right. Then I agonized over price and marketing and reviews and all that other garbage.
And finally, after months of tormenting myself, I put the book on Kindle, and every single person who had any interest in buying asked me the same question:
"Can I get it in print?"
I had a decent amount of local interest in my book when I first announced it in October. There was a mad rush of texts and emails, congratulations and good lucks, and general enthusiasm. But no sales - because only a small percentage of the people who knew about the book had a Kindle.
So I finally decided to look into a hard copy on CreateSpace. As it turned out, putting a hard copy together was harder than preparing a Kindle version. Go figure.
But you know what else CreateSpace does? Fucking Kindle format.
If I just started with a hard copy in the first place, I'd have ended up releasing my book in both print and soft copy at the same time, and I wouldn't have had to worry about whether any potential buyers would have been able to buy it. Plus, whatever marketing efforts I actually can make on my own require a tangible copy, so what the hell good is a Kindle product right now?
That's my lesson to the world. If you're about to self publish: good luck, and put it in print. Doesn't matter how "dead" print is, it's the only thing that's universally accessible. And besides, it's not actually that expensive.
|Buy it in paperback for only $9.99!|